Monday, 29 June 2009

Behind the Scenes..

Here are some snaps I took 'behind the scenes' as Vintage Secret (aka Naomi and I) styled Tinsel and Twinkle for some press shots with their work, and some sneaky pics in the amazing MC Motors warehouse where Tinsel's print was on sale at the Secret Blisters show this weekend.Having been touted by Lauren Laverne in Grazia earlier in the week, most prints sold out pretty sharpish, leaing only the first editions to be auctioned off on the Sunday.

To see Twinkle and Tinsel DJ in their 1950s seaside get-up, head to the Dragon Bar, July 3rd!

Monday, 22 June 2009

Behind the Pale Blue Door

Whilst bankers may be mourning their lost bonuses, its the arts sector that always suffers most in a recession. But set designer/artist Tony Hornecker decided to supplement his income by combining his past experience working as a chef with his artistic talent, creating a pop-up restaurant in his art installation-esque home. Teasers were tempting:
'If you follow your nose and open your ears and let the breeze carry the waft of smoke and the whiff of moonshine, the promise of love will drive you on and with furtive looks you knock three times, a heavily lacquered hand reaches out. Light, love and laughter spill out into the night sky before the city falls back into it’s slumber, only turning slightly in it’s cold and guilty bed.'
That heavily lacquered hand belonged to Greek drag queen Amanto Pet, who welcomed my boyfriend and me to Tony's eclectic abode last night. Seating only 24 at a time, tables nestled in various nooks and crannies, the environment is intimate to say the least. I had emailed Tony in advance to warn him that my boyfriend is rather tall, so perhaps some of the wee alcoves might make awkward sitting- whether said email went array or Tony just thought it would be particularly funny to see all 6ft5 of my man folded into the smallest space possible, I don't know. It was pretty damn funny. We were soon distracted from any discomfort by the surroundings-seated on what any Health and Safety officer would only describe as a plywood deathtrap, we had a great view over the rest of the restaurant. If you've seen any of Tony's work, the sets used in the artwork on Bat for Lashes' latest album for example, you'll have some idea of his penchant for curiosities and paraphernalia- his home is an embodiment of everything fairytale and otherworldly- what the inside of Tim Burton's brain might look like- on a good day definitely; its a lot less dark. In our little alcove we are accompanied by a glowing duck, whilst next door in the bedroom a stuffed alligator adorns the wall, whilst a number of dollshouses and baskets of knitting surround the table for two, set with mismatched vintage crockery. After a strong gin and tonic, we revert to childhood and start to explore on our hands and knees. Luckily the couple in the bedroom area invite us onto the bed so Boyfriend gets to stretch his legs. With the TV in the room loaded with porn, who knows where the night may have gone.. but then our food arrived. We ate by the light of the duck, a starter of Greek salad and pitta bread, followed by a huge platter of roast beef, deliciously rare, warm potato salad and slow roasted tomatoes. You also get a bottle of wine with your meal- drunk whilst perched above the rising heat of 20 people with barely an inch above our heads, we were quickly quite warm and, well, drunk. Crumble of fancy was served for dessert, whilst the lovely Amanto Pet performed a number of showstopping routines downstairs, from a fantastic Tina Turner rendition to some Greek plate -throwing antics. When the warmth and wine were in danger of sending us back to the bed, we wandered downstairs and joined another crowd's table, beneath a massive portrait of Colonel Gaddafi, some disco balls and a stuffed duck. The atmosphere is such that pulling up to other folks' tables feels completely natural; this is a million miles from the stuffy restaurant formality we've come to accept as the norm. Walking to the toilet I passed by the kitchen- so small that it seemed all that food must have appeared by magic, in the manner of hat stands sprouting from Mary Poppins' handbag. The toilet is as eccentric as the rest of the house, a chandelier overhead and a collection of plastic horses above the loo. Most endearing is that Tony's toothbrush, toothpaste and other toiletries are all in their usual homes, only adding to the sensation that you've popped to a friend's for dinner. Tony himself wanders around chatting to guests as coffee is served, giving us a chance to congratulate him on creating a truly unique dining experience. Whilst most restaurants manage to tick one of the boxes, Tony's has achieved all three; great food, great setting and great service.
Last night was the last of the current session of nights at The Pale Blue Door, but Tony did imply that it might open again- we'll let you know any further dates as soon as we hear of them.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Tallulah Rendall's Festival of Libellus

Festival of Libellus- the launch of Tallulah Rendall's album and book!

The iconic Cafe de Paris was recently transformed into a woodland grotto- full of magical performances by the likes of Empress Stah, Gwendoline Lamour, the Alternative Miss World's Andrew Logan and arts and craftsers HungaMunga. All this went down in order to celebrate the launch of Tallulah Rendall's album and book, 'Libellus'. I found the singer surrounded by boxes, giant flowers and glitter, busy preparing for the night- but we managed to fit in a few questions.

Katie:You're collaborating with some wonderful acts for the launch of your album- how did that all come about?

Tallulah Rendall: I have been working away on this album for a long time and now that its finished and in the shops, I really want to celebrate. Not content with simply organising a gig, I decided to put on a Festival, so I searched out all my favourite cabaret performers and lured them with sweets and glitter to Cafe De Paris! It was also an opportunity to gather all the people who have worked so hard and supported me for so long, encourage them to don a fancy dress costume, wiggle and celebrate! When trying to create something of your own, there are times when it can feel like an uphill struggle, so when you have finally achieved what you set out to do, you really have to embrace that-whatever happens next. In my mind I have brought together some of the most impressive and dynamic performers around, and now I am like a small child in a toy shop- I can't wait to see it all come together. Many of the performers are also friends who I have known for a long time, so there is definitely a family feel to the night which it great.

K: We also get to see your new music video at the launch- the stills I've seen so far are breathtaking- can you talk us through the outfits you wore?
TR: The music video is for a song called Black Seagull, which is my favourite track on the record. It involved gathering folks from around Europe and heading to a wee den in Wales- it was truly beautiful. We shot in the gorge next to these amazing waterfalls and then in this 'Blair Witch' forest that was really eerie and I kept getting completely freaked out. I had three outfits; The first was made by Chinyere Eze and was this incredible old, battered, white lace dress that she had sewn white plastic bin bags onto ,creating a ballgown effect-I felt like a creature from a Tim Burton film, a twisted midsummer faerie. I still have it and am going to wear it tonight at some point; I love it!! The other two were from the House of Blue Eyes. Johnny Blue Eyes is this wonderful character who heads up the House of Blues Eyes and works with various different designers including the beautiful lady called Sian who made the Sprite costume- a silver leotard with shards of glass on it. As I leapt in and out of trees the crew had these really amusing looks on their faces, a mixture of wonder and fear, unsure if I would flash them or if a shard of glass would dig into my leg! Luckily neither occurred. The third was for the Black Seagull character renamed by the crew 'the Freak', this was a black PVC number from Johnny which I wore when we shot in the smoke filled woodland (next to these empty graves - which scared the shit out of me!) Sian has also made me a beautiful dress for tonight, with more broken shards.....

K: As far as I know, a Libellus was a document given to Christians, permitting them to perform pagan sacrifice in order to demonstrate loyalty to the authorities of the Roman Empire- is this where the title of your album, and the festival comes from?
TR: Last year I was reading Iris Murdoch's novel The Sea and the protagonist talks about Libellus as a book of poetry that comes to life. I was looking at Beshlie's Paintings and we had just started thinking about a video, and creating this book and I thought that the description completely encapsulated my album. Since then I have discovered all these other definitions.... the pagan sacrifice meaning being one of them.

K: And who's responsible for the gorgeous artwork?
TR: Beshlie Mckelvie- she is an old friend of mine and I feel very honoured that she has been involved in this project. She has been a huge source of inspiration. The book itself was put together by another friend, graphic designer Joantoni Segui Morro who put hours of time and energy into piecing the book together, and graphic designer Joseph Lattimer who spent a year with me working the lyrics into the paintings. All these people have put their time into creating this album for nothing but love and friendship which is an incredible thing in itself.

K:What are your plans for the summer- I've heard rumours of a Jeff Buckley tribute concert in Paris?
TR: The summer- oooooh, more festivals.... I am going to Paris to play at the Jeff Buckley Tribute on 21st June which is an amazing honour. We will be performing for his mum! Then back and forth around the UK playing festivals; Shoreditch Festival on 18th July, Port Eliot on 24th July, Tenby Folk festival 28th August.

Thanks to Peeping Tallulah and Matt Crockett for the pictures of Tallulah at the Festival.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Who Killed Amanda Palmer

I interviewed Miss Palmer about her new book,full of photos of her pretending to be dead. Nice coffee table stuff. The wonderful Neil Gaiman (Stardust, Mirrormask, Coraline) wrote the mini stories- have a look at the interview he and Amanda did in a bathtub, link at the end of the article. Have a copy of the book at mine if anyone fancies a peak before buying online. Links on how to order are in the Dazed piece.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Online shopping

At some stage I must have failed to tick one of those 'click here if you don't want us to give your details to third parties' boxes- evidently on some fashiony sort of site, as my inbox is now constantly clogged by online shopping websites who are under the illusion that I have money to buy anything.However, I have done my share of browsing, all in the interests of research, and here are the best if you're bored of ASOS, OLI, Net-a-porter and all that jazz.
  • Koodos- If you're one of those people who invests in designer jeans, then you should definitely check out this site, as they have big discounts on brands like 7 for all mankind, J Brand, Diesel and True Religion.
  • Amelie Boutique- rudely expensive, but lovely looking website.Stocks great jewellery by Digby and Iona.
  • Strawberries and Cream- another cute site, including lotions and potions, household and clothing.
  • My Theresa- pricey, pretty, high fashion.
  • Bunnyhug- Loads of cutting edge labels- great for inspiration.
  • Intermix- Their Shop by trend section gives eye-candy as good as any glossy mag
    Colette- French site with some truly gorgeous pieces- my favourites are the oversized silk scarves by Vogue illustrator Coco- think butterflies,birds and orchids.
  • Joy- oh Joy!Finally something within my price-range!The lovely clothes and gift store Joy which you may have spotted popping up around London, finally goes digital.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Get your craft on..

This Saturday, Crafternoon returns, bigger and better than ever.Bring an old t-shirt, and the crafty creatures will teach you how to make your own accessories; pom-poms, badges and recycled plastic purses. If you find you've already stuck your fingers together by tea time, you can just relax, listen to the live bands, enter the raffle and stuff your face with tea and cake.Whats not to like?And all in the knowledge that you're supporting FairPension- a charity that campaigns for pensions to be invested responsibly and ethically.
If you're after something a little more high-brow (not that pom-pom creation is for the faint-hearted), make your own book at the brand new, Papered Parlour- including observational drawing with which you'll illustrate your book,printing and bookmaking techniques. Book now by emailing It's £55 including materials. And on Saturday 13th, it'll be a screenprinting class, where you can design a bag and t-shirt.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Sweet treats from Daily Candy

If you're not already signed up to Daily Candy emails, nows the time to put your name down to receive emails with the lowdown on whats happening in London. This weekend DC's favourite stores are offering all subscribers a 25% discount- this includes spas like Bliss London and Glow Urban Spa, as well as Heidi Klein, The Hummingbird Bakery, KJ's Laundry, The Shop at Bluebird and Twenty8twelve. My favourite buys would be Day of the week pants from Austique- much better value than the pricey Stella McCartney boxset, and the all essential Morning coffee and Afternoon tea Diary from Lapin and Me. Tassled and tattooed tights by Bebaroque at Bordello are another highlight, as well as the chance to design your own bespoke bikini at Biondi.
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